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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - The information furnished by the Minister does not meet the case. My observations were made purely in the interests of the farmer - the man who cannot secure the larger tractor owing to its prohibitive price, although that machine can be used effectively and economically upon a large farm..

Senator de Largie - The light tractor . is the only economical machine.

Senator PAYNE - In another place the Minister for Trade and Customs. (Mr. Greene) said -

Certain classes of traction engines are not made in this country, particularly the very heavy kind, which is used for heavy ploughing work, where the ploughs' are operated by a cable which is drawn between the engines, one of which stands on either side of the piece of land which is being ploughed. The only place where these engines are being made is England.

The class of tractor referred to, which is not made in Australia, is admitted under this special provision.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister for Trade and Customs did not refer exclusively to cable-drawing tractors. The Minister spoke of any machine not made in Australia.

Senator de Largie - No one would think of buying that type of tractor nowadays.

Senator PAYNE - I have given the sole explanation of the Minister for Trade and Customs in support of the special provision under which certain tractors may be admitted at a very low rate of duty. I emphasize that he said, " The only place where these engines are being made is England." The Minister continued -

They also do draining work, and are very good for breaking up swamp land. We do not want to include those machines in this item.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister for Trade and Customs pointed out that certain classes of traction engines are not made in Australia. Then he referred particularly to the very heavy type; but he did not devote his remarks exclusively to that kind.

Senator PAYNE - Exactly! The only class indicated by the Minister, however, was the tractor used by farmers in a very big way.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - But there are other classes.

Senator Gardiner - I think this interesting interchange of opinions should be heard by a quorum. [Quorum formed.']

Senator PAYNE - I do not know whether the Fordson tractor is popular or not, but it has been said that it has to carry a duty of £92, and, consequently, it would cost a farmer approximately £400. I have no personal knowledge of the type of light tractors produced by the Australian manufacturers; but I trust that in framing this item full consideration hag been given to the interests of the smaller men, so that they may have the opportunity of benefiting by the advantages to be derived by the introduction of labour-saving appliances.

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